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Cornell University Library 

The Grimaldi Shakspere; notes and emendat 

3 1924 013 164 383 

E» Cornell University 
WM Library 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

C|)e (ictmallit §>j)afispece. 






^^iu<^u€^r^^. ^»-e-«a:^t-u<2^ ^M^Mco^,---^ 

— '^■SS*-^ 

0,3S.— Eijesc 0otes anlr ((BmETttJations arc Copsrtsfjt, 
aitlr must not tre uselr fig ang C^Uttor in ang 
future (!^itt0n of .Sfjaltspere* 

Shakspere's and Nature's words lay hid in night, 
Anon Grimaldi comes, and — " all is right I" 


Published by J. RUSSELL SMITH, 36, Soho Square. 

M.DCCC.LIII. (. (j I; 

= ; , ,• I'WIVI I;..; 

C{)e #rtmaltii ^{)aifespere* 

H E discovery of the important volume which, 
I believe, is destined to give its name as a prefix 
to all future editions of Shakspere, was the re- 
sult of a happy accident. It has peculiar value 
at the present time, inasmuch as it exhibits new 
and Original readings of the poet, which have never been 
hinted at before — readings which are so singularly correct, 
emendations displaying such great judgment, and corrections 
so obviously proper, that they have only to be promulgated 
to be received and welcomed by all but prejudiced scribblers, 
who dare not use them. The new lines, which appear as 
manuscript insertions here only, must be accepted with un- 
feigned joy and deep gratitude as the heaven-born inspirations 
of the greatest genius the world ever saw. No future edition 
of Shakspere can ever dare to appear without all these ad- 
ditions and corrections ; and as they are all copyright, and 
may not be used by any one but me, it follows that the Bard 
is in future my private property, and aU. other editors are 
hereby " warned off;" but it is not very likely such misguided 
labourers will appear after this warning ; if they do, they will 
be stigmatized as aU such "trespassers," deserve. 

I feel that I have but one rival, and that one is Mr. Thomas 
Perkins, who Uved about 1660, "there or thereabouts;" and 
who must have been a Scotsman, as he evidently possessed the 
power of " second sight," looking into futurity so wondrously 

that he wrote with his own hand emendations in the text of 
his folio which were first invented by the scholars of the suc- 
ceeding century. I have no enmity towards this clever man ; 
on the contrary, I beheve I shall be found a staunch supporter 
of his new readings and general views ; and I only hope I shall 
obtain the same support from his admirers that I so willingly 
accord this gentleman. 

Taking a leaf from the book of the learned man who has 
consented to act as his dry-nurse in the world of letters, I 
first announced my discovery in the pages of an eminent 
literary journal* It is like Mrs. Inchbald's, "a simple 
story," and may be thus repeated. 

The plays of our immortal Bard, banished from the fashion- 
able part of our metropolis, had found a home among " the 
wise men of the east," and I had determined to see what sort 
of lodging Mr. Phelps had given them at Sadlers Wells. My 
zeal " outran the pauser reason," and I reached the theatre 
much too early; I therefore strolled towards Islington to 
occupy the hour which must elapse before the doors would 
open. Pausing at a book-stall, my eye fell upon a grim old 
folio, a mere bundle of dirty leaves, without a beginning or 
end. I took it up — could it be ? — my heart leaped at the 
hope ! — yes, it was — the players' edition of Shakspere. I 
asked the price. "Two and sixpence," replied the book- 
seller, " as it's a biggish book." It was plain he could not 
read, and knew not its value. That, however, was not my 
business ; giving him no time for reflection I paid the money, 
seized the book, rushed into the first cab unhired, and got 
safe off with my prize. Sadlers Wells was forgotton — the 
Globe on the Bankside filled my imagination. I blundered 
to my study in the darkness, lit my lamp, and then for the 
first time discovered that the book had been the property of 
the late Joseph Grimaldi, for many years resident in Spa 

* See the 'Literary Gazette,' July, 1853, not the ' Pourpenny Exterminator,' 
which is rabid in defence of my rival, and regularly burkes opponents. 

Fields, where he died. There, in the original handwriting of the 
great clown was the inscription which I here copy in facsimile. 

Dear reader, are not the letters positively riant! do they 
not bear impress of the joy with which the volume has been 
owned — of the pleasure taken in the labour bestowed upon 
it ! Turning over the leaves, what sunbeams seemed to shine 
from them ! Grimaldi, with true sympathetic genius, had 
corrected the typographical blunders left and made by the 
players. Here, in the writing of old Joe, were ten thousand 
emendations that had puzzled all previous commentators. I 
commence my specimens with the two I have already pub- 
lished. Mercutio describes the chariot of Queen Mab, as 

"Drawn by a team of little atomies." 

The corrupt text is thus corrected in the Grimaldi folio : — 

" Drawn by a team of little attortdes." 

And when we remember how attornies can and will draw, the 
correction flashes on us with the Hght of conviction. 
Again, in Macbeth, one of the witches says — 

" The rump-fed ronyon cries." 

But who can doubt the integrity of Grimaldi's pen ? — 

"The rump and onion fries." 

There is a very curious variation in our copy of the same 
play, the propriety of which cannot possibly be doubted. The 
first line, instead of being 

" When shall we three meet again ?" 

is printed thus : — 

"When shall we thee meet again?" 
or, in other words, when shall we meet again with thee? 

This seems better grammar than the old reading ; though, on 
the other hand, it may be said that the letter r has dropped 
out at the press. It is easy to account for it in this way, but 
Avho is to prove the fact ? We repeat that our copy reads thee.'^ 
As a specimen of the strong common-sense of the com- 
ments by immortal Joe, and of the ehsions which he has 
made in the text with an amount of taste and judgment only 
equalled by " Perkins " himself, I give the dialogue between 
Malcolm and the Doctor in Macbeth (act. iv, sc. 3), which 
alludes to the mysterious royal gift of healing diseases by touch. 

" Malcolm,. Comes the king forth, I pray you ? 

Doctor. Ay, sir ; there are a crew of wretched souls. 
That stay his cure : their malady convinces 
The great assay of art ; but at his touch. 
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand. 
They presently amend. 
Malcolm. I thank you. Doctor. \_Exit Doctor." 

This passage is altered in our amended copy by the sub- 
stitution of gulls for souls. 

" There are a crew of wretched ffulls 
That stay his cure." 

The blundering confusion in the next sentence is at once 
got rid of, as well as the rest of the speech, by drawing the 
pen vigorously through the whole ; and so ending the scene 
with Malcolm's polite acknowledgment to the medical prac- 
titioner of Macbeth' s household. The long speech which 
follows his exit, and in which is contained a tiresome descant 
on this foolish and exploded belief, is treated in the same 
summary manner ; the pen-marks across the lines are remark- 
ably strong and vigorous, and can only be properly under- 
stood by a facsimile of the entire page, which I had at one 
time an intention of giving. I content, myself, however, with 
the marginal remark appended to these important castrations, 

* It is highly important to note these kinds of variations. A similar 
curious instance is pointed out by Mr. CoUier on the word lands in the 
Comedy of Errors, where he observes : — " In Lord I\-ancis Egerton's copy of 
the first folio the word is printed lans, as if the letter d had dropped out ; 
but it is inserted in the Duke of Devonshire's iirst folio, having been cor- 
rected in the press." — CoUier s ShaJcespeare, vol. ii, p. 153. 

which conveys with singular terseness and force the corrector's 
estimate of the passage. 


Macbeth has received much attention from Grimaldi. He 
has not only corrected the text but has added minute stage 
directions, of the most important and elucidatory nature. 
Thus in the famous scene where the Thane exclaims 

" — is this a dagger which I see before me ? " 

Grimaldi has written in the margin, opposite that line, 
"Dagger hanging, O. P.;" which, for the benefit of non- 
professional readers, I may say means that a dagger must be 
suspended above Macbeth and opposite the side where the 
prompter is stationed, and where the actor stands, in order 
that the meaning of his alarm may be at once apparent. I 
trust our eyes wUl never more be offended by staring at 
vacancy when this scene is acted at the theatres ; for why are 
we not to see the dagger as well as Banquo's Ghost, both 
being equally the result of the Thane's " evil conscience ; " 
and common-sense requires that the audience should see what 
Macbeth sees, to fully comprehend and appreciate histerrors. 
In Hamlet we have another valuable instance of the atten- 
tion paid to stage effect, and again feel the great value of the 
commentator's practical mind. In act iii, sc. 4, where the 
Prince is surprised by the sudden appearance of his father's 
spirit, the following piece of what is technically called " stage 
business " is noted for his use, — • 

i.e., throw the chair down upon which Hamlet has been seated, 
which will add to his apparent consternation, and produce a 
startling effect upon the audience. It is remarkable that this 
is an antique stage-tradition, and the frontispiece to Hamlet, 

in Rowe's Shakespeare, 1709, exhibits the practice, so that 
we have no doubt it was handed down from the time of the 
dramatist himself, who may also have taught the grave-digger 
to " make the groundlings laugh," by pulling off twenty waist- 
coats, a practice which has improperly ceased of late years, but 
which we hope our indignant remonstrance may again revive. 
We have noted many other alterations in Hamlet of a very 
important and voluminous kind; but their nature requires 
that they be given in extenso, inasmuch as they tend entirely to 
remodel the character. One line may be a clue to the whole : 
in the fencing scene, the Queen exclaims, 

" Our son is fat and scant of breath ; " 

it is therefore evident, says Grimaldi, that the part should be 
played like that of Falstaff with " stuffing," or else what be- 
comes of the sense of these words — the mere common-sense ! 
There is little doubt that the great success which attended 
the Dramatist's creation of the part of Palstaff, induced him 
to repeat the character in a new light, and the many and judi- 
cious alterations made by Mr. Grimaldi in the play, as well 
as some few private notes in the margin, go to prove, that he 
had been carefully studying the part, hoping one day to give 
his version to the public. This would indeed have been a 
novelty — une grande solemnite thedtrale — as our French 
neighbours say of such events ; nor, would it be without a 
precedent ; Lord Lansdowne altered the Merchant of Venice 
in the reign of WiUiam the Third, and gave the part of 
Shylock to the famous comedian Dogget, who was always 
received in it with shouts of joyous laughter. We hope to 
see a similar restoration of Hamlet to Thalia, " a consumma- 
tion devoutly to be wished ; " and we can imagine the rich 
treat that awaits an audience who will have the chance of 
seeing a first-rate comedian like Paul Bedford rolling about the 
stage in this absiird fencing-match, pufiing like a grampus as 
Laertes pursues him, pricking his fat-sides with a rapier. Then 
the grimaces over the poisoning, and the general death of all 
the characters — a la Bombastes — will be the acme of comicality. 

^^eed, the only fault, if it be fault, in these emendations, 
results from the naturally cheerful temper of Mr. Grimaldi : the 
vts connca peeps out ever and anon throughout the volume. 

us, when Ophelia is singing her snatches of song. 

" How should I your true love know, 
IVom another one ? 
By his cockle hat and staff, 
• And his sandal shoon," 

he has altered the verse thus, 

" How should I your true love know, 
From another lady's beau ? — 
Oh, by his cockle hat and staff, 
fmch when you see will make you laugh." 

Ophelia, probably, in her distracted state of mind, has 
mixed up in her imagination a real pilgrim, with some absurd 
representation of the said genus in a hal masque, at which she 
may have heartily laughed in happier hours. We should, 
however, have had some objection to receiving this emendation 
as final had it not been singularly elucidated in the "Perkins" 
Shakspere as edited by Collier, a volume that singularly cor- 
roborates Grimaldi, as the great pantomimist sometimes 
corroborates it. There, in the midst of a tragic scene of the 
utmost solemnity occurs a grotesque hne, spoken by the 
Duke of Gloucester to King Henry, — {King Henry VI, 
Part 2, act ii, sc. 3) — 

" K. Henry. Stay, Humphrey, duke of Glo'ster : ere thou go. 
Give up thy staff; Henry will to himself 
Protector be : and God shall be my hope, 
My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet ; 
And go in peace, Humphrey ; no less beloved. 
Than when thou wert protector to thy king. 

Qm. Margaret. I see no reason, why a king of years 
Should be to be protected like a child. — 
God and king Henry govern England's helm : 
Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm. 

Glo. My staff? — ^here, noble Henry, is my staff: 
As willingly do I the same resign, 
As e'er thy father Henry made it mine : 
And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it. 
As others would ambitiously receive it." 


The two latter speeches Mr. Perkins imagines, and Mr. 
Collier declares, ought to be arranged as rhyme by a series 
of what he terms "judicious changes," including an "im- 
portant addition," and so we get the passage thus : 

" Qu. Mar. I see no reason why a king of years 
Should be protected, like a child, by peers, 
God and king Henry govern England's helm : 
Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm. 

Glo. My staff? — here, noble Henry, is my staff: 
To think I fain would keep it makes me laugh. 
As willingly I do the same resign, 
As e'er thy father Heniy made it mine." 

This noble line, which we print in italics, we ought, in Mr. 
Collier's words, " to welcome with thankfulness, as a fortunate 
recovery and a valuable restoration !" of a line written by 
Shakspere himself! ! 

Fortunately the Grimaldi Shakspere gives another instance 
of the use of this line, which has hitherto unaccountably been 
omitted in every edition of the Poet's works, but which must 
have been a favorite with him. In Prospero's speech. Tempest, 
act V, sc. 1, in which he determines to give up his "rough 
magic," he says — 

" I'll break my staff; 

Bury it certain fathoms in the earth. 
And deeper than did ever plummet sound 
I'U drown my book." 

The whole of this passage is properly a stage " tag," and 
ends the simple action of the early part of the scene with four 
lines of rhyme, thus : — • 

I'U break my staff ; 

To think I fain would keep it makes me laugh. 
Bury it certain fathoms in the ground. 
Much deeper than did ever plummet sound.'' 

We recommend with confidence and pleasure this important 
restoration of a lost line of England's greatest bard ; and so 
opposed are we to any desire to keep it to ourselves, that we 
cheerfully offer it to Mr. C. or any other editor of Shakspere, 
hoping that no future edition may appear without it, and no 
editor be rash enough to omit the line wherever it occurs 


either from prejudice or fear. We give this up cheerfully, 
though, unlike Lear, we cannot " give up all." 

We hope, however, it is distinctly understood that Mr. 
Grimaldi had no desire to improperly make Shakspere's 
characters " amusing." Far from it ! Like Mr. Perkins, the 
great annotator of 1660, he frequently tried the contrary. 
Any violation of sense was painful to the distinguished 
pantomimist who gave meaning to "Tippety Witchet." 
Mr. Perkins (Collier, p. 44), very properly objects to Froth's 
nonsense {Measure for Measure, act ii, sc. 1), about "an open 
room being good for winter,"* but he does not attempt to 
correct Elbow's shsmA. parlance deficient ahke in grammar and 
common sense. This Mr. Grimaldi does, with much judicious 
labour, and with singular propriety, when we consider the 
solemn nature of the drama which is totally unfitted for 
buffoonery of this kind. As we have the noble play now 
" emended," it goes on in stately monotony to the end, and 
is a very strong proof of the good taste of the corrector, who, 
though so fond of his joke, that his name was felicitously 
punned upon as " Mr. Grin-all-day," was evidently prepared 
at any time to sacrifice his leading propensity at the altar of 

The famous curds-and-cream emendation of Mr. Perkins 
(Collier, p. 35), which has excited some stupid ridicule from 
the thoughtless, is corroborated also by Mr. Grimaldi, who 
has restored a lost line in another play of the Bard's. In the 
Merry Wives of Windsor, act ii, sc. 3, the Host says to 
Dr. Caius : — • 

" I will bring thee where Mistress Anne Page is at a farm-house a feasting, 
and thou shalt woo her. Cried I aim, said I well ?" 

This passage has been thoughtlessly taken as a common 
conversational phrase well understood by Shaksperian critics. 

* He proposes to read " good for windows, " that is, having plenty of such 
articles. But does this not suggest another reading ? Might not such a 
room be considered "good iox glaziers." Shakspere is often fond of verbal 


Not so. Mr. Collier has discovered that the error "is at 
once set right by the manuscript-corrector ;" and he remarks : 

" The truth seems to be, that the Host, having said that Anne Page was 
feasting. at a farm-house; in order stOl more to incite Dr. Caius to go there, 
mentioned the most ordinary objects of feasting at farm-houses at that time, 
vis., curds and cream; 'curds and cream' in the hands of the old con^- 
positor, became strangely metamorphosed into cried game — at least this is 
the marginal explanation in the corrected folio, 1632. The Host, therefore, 
ends his speech about Ann Page's feasting at the farm-house, by the ex- 
clamation, • Curds and cream ! said I well ?' " 

In the Winters Tale, singularly enough, the great Joe 

furnishes us with an important line where one is wanted to 

complete the sense, and in which this rural delicacy is 

named. The Old Shepherd (act iv, sc. 3) blames Perdita 

for not playing the hostess at the feast as his " old wife " 

used to do, who 

" welcom'd all ; serv'd all : 

Would sing her song, and dance her turn : now here 
At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle ; 
On his shoulder and his ; her face o' fire 
With labor ; and the thing she took to quench it. 
She would to each one sip." 

But "the thing " itself is never mentioned, and the charac- 
teristic prolixity and perspicuity of the speech destroyed by 
the omission. Happily this can never occur again, unless the 
copyright act deter poachers from the Shakspere preserve 
which our annotated copy makes our own private property. 
This is the way we have the passage, and we may again hint 
that it is our own copyright : 

the thing she took to quench it 

Was curds and cream, which in a flowing bowl 
She would to each one sip." 

This noble line is unquestionably Shakspere's, and is 
another proof added to the many of his simple tastes, and 
ardent relish for country life and farm-house pleasures, which 
he always possessed throughout his career ; getting money in 
London merely to spend it in Stratford, and gladly exchang- 
ing the metropolitan sky-blue for the curds and cream of the 
Warwickshire farm-houses, where the last news from London 


conveyed by his lips would be a welcome return for the 
primitive delicacies he loved so well. 

We think it will now be clear that such readings as these 
must in future appear in all editions of Shakspere, excepisi' 
those edited by sxich persons as have " no right" to use them, 
and thus " adhere of necessity to the antiquated blunder, and 
pertinaciously attempt to justify it!' 

There is a passage in Bichard III. which has hitherto 
been received as the genuine reading. The "First Gent." says 
to Gloucester when he stops the funeral cortege of Henry VI, 

"My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass." 

A few moments consideration will show that this cannot be 
a correctly expressed line. Coffins are denied volition, and 
he must have used other words to make his meaning clear — - 
such as "let the bearers pass" — but we are fortunately saved 
all conjecture, by the true reading appearing in our Grimaldi 
folio of 1816, by which it appears the entire line as it gene- 
rally stands is a printer's error. The line of type has dropped 
out in moving the form (no uncommon occurrence in a printing 
office) and the ignorant mechanic in trying to repair his fault 
has made it what it is. This is what it should be : 

" My lord, stand back and let tlie parson cough." 

This new reading fortunately requires no defensive argu- 
ments when we remember that the clergyman had been 
walking bareheaded and slowly through the streets of London ; 
and that common politeness required the " First Gent." to save 
Gloucester, also a gentleman, from an unguarded approxima- 
tion to his explosive lungs. 

There is another passage in this play, which by the simple 
omission of a comma has been much altered in its significance. 
It occurs in the speech of Ratcliff (act v, sc. 3), when he 
abruptly enters the tent of Richard and answers his query 
" who 's there " by 

'tis I. The early village cock 

* Hath twice done salutation to the morn." 


The query, when once put by Kemble, was answered thus : 
My lord 'tis I the early village cock. 

The actor who thus replied has been subjected to much 
absurd odium. Like many a thinking man, he was in advance 
of his time. Grimaldi restores the passage, and points it as 
we print it, omitting the next line, and making all easy. It 
is in fact an appropriate and beautiful bit, quite in character 
with the alternation from grave to gay, so characteristic of the 
great bard, and which was never better displayed than in this 
instance. Richard has started full of the horrible remem- 
brance of the ghosts, and with looks of utmost alarm has 
interrogated the abrupt intruder ; who at once, with amiable 
presence of mind, reassures the King that " all is serene " by 
the cheerful jocularity of his response. We put it to the 
theatrical world whether the effect of this undoubtedly correct 
reading might not be considerably heightened if Ratcliff's 
face was whitened, but that is a point for managers to settle. 
I have just said that this is the "undoubtedly correct 
reading." I should not have used so strong a term had I not 
taken much pains, in every way, to confirm my view. I have 
not depended on books alone, or on the fact of this reading 
having once appeared upon the stage ; but have inquired 
through a living channel of stage tradition, which puts it past 
a doubt. Mrs. Mary Ann Smith, an aged " dresser " at the 
Victoria Theatre, has been introduced to me as one of " the 
oldest inhabitants " of any modern playhouse. She is the 
relict of a minor actor, who was celebrated for a long life 
devoted to little parts. He once played Ratcliff, but was 
deterred from speaking the speech as we propose in future 
that it should be spoken, by the managers. Mrs. S. distinctly 
recollects that he would have done so, because his grand- 
mother knew that his grandfather, who remembered Betterton, 
always said it was fit and proper. I mentioned to her the fact 
of a full stop appearing after " 'tis I," but she at once in- 
geniously and convincingly replied, " there could be no such 


thing, because the speech was not ended ;" addmg that she 
"never heard of stops, except to stop when somebody else 
was talking." 

It is astonishing, recollecting, as Mr. Collier observes, how 4 
many learned hands the works of the great dramatist have 
passed through, that the important topographical allusions in 
his plays should have escaped notice. One play alone. Twelfth 
Night, is replete with important references to London topo- 
graphy ; witness the allusions to the " bells of St. Bennet- — 
one, two, three," and to that remarkable passage in the 
third act, — 

'■' In the south suburbs, at the Elephant, 
Is best to lodge ;" 

where the newly discovered MS. reads, with unquestionable 

authority, — • 

" In the south suburbs, at the Elephant and Castle, 
Is best to lodge." 

It is unnecessary to say that the hostelry known as the 
Elephant and Castle, is in the south suburbs ; a fact which 
proves the correctness of the reading beyond a doubt. 
The line in Henry the Fifth, act i, sc. 1, — 

" The strawberry grows underneath the nettle," — 
a line which is botanically wrong, is admirably corrected into 

"The strawberry grows to Jill the market pottle," — 
the ear doing for us what the eye would fail to correct. In 
the same speech we have another important amendment : the 
Bishop of Ely declares that — 

■ the prince obscur'd his contemplation 

Under the veil of wildness ; which no doubt 
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night." 

The new reading is — 

" Grew like a modern gent, ' fastest ' by night ;" 

a much more appropriate line ; this abbreviation of the word 
gentleman being a genuine characteristic of the Shaksperian 
era. |P 


In concluding my series of specimens, I may be pardoned 
for offering one correction of my own in the poet's text, inas- 
mucli as it proves that the word "ache" should be pro- 
enounced aitch. There is a play upon the word in the excla- 
mation of Scarus, m Anthony and Cleopatra, act iv, sc. 7 : 

" I had a wound here that was like a T ; 
But now 'tis made a H." 

The accompanying diagram will explain this clearly. He 

had received in battle a sword cut, as at h m, and had after- 

1^ n wards another at right angles with it, vv; 

Hwith unconquered energy he still continued 
y. fighting, till another downward cut, gb, had 
formed the great H, "aitch," or ache, that the 
dramatist makes the brave fellow joke upon, 
and exClaim that he has still 


" Eoom for six scotches more ! " 

This obscure and difficult passage is, by the aid of this 
note and diagram, made entirely clear by following the line I 
point ouj^ which is h • v m ■ b • v g. 

I have now said enough to estabhsh my claim to attention, 
and to ensure the world an edition totally unlike all previous 
ones. I shall work diligently at it, and give the reading 
public the benefit of the whole three thousand corrections, 
for there are as many, and all nearly as valuable as any I have 
given, or are given in " the Perkins Shakspere." I have no 
ill-feeling to that humourous work, nor do I wish to rival it : 
I only hope that " Grimaldi " and " Perkins " may go hand in 
hand to posterity, as the two ablest of the modern lights 
which have clarified the darkness of the Swan of Avon. 

Printed by E. Tucker, Perry's Place, Oxford Street.